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Club sports adjust to a new kind of normal

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Denton’s Athletics Division

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After a pandemic stricken year, North Texas’ 34 recreational sports clubs have opened back up with new guidelines applied to them in order to keep their members as well as other schools safe.

The North Texas Envy is a women’s ultimate frisbee team that competes in tournaments with other schools. The club is now open and taking participants after taking a year off following the results of COVID-19 to the club and school. The club has taken some new precautions to ensure that they can keep their players healthy.

“We have a lot of new people that are excited to get back out there,” junior ultimate frisbee player Margaret Hicks said. “We’re still practicing and playing in tournaments, and we’ve pretty much gone back to normal on the exception of COVID testing.”

The team’s focus is to keep their own players and other teams safe. Hicks and the club have noted that COVID-19 has made travel “really tricky” and is doing voluntary testing before traveling for road games.

North Texas’ women’s rugby club is another club on campus that was heavily affected by COVID-19, as the social distancing it required does not follow along with the physicality of rugby.

“We have significantly fewer people because we weren’t able to table during many orientations and one of the biggest events for student organizations was canceled due to weather and space availability,” senior Cristal Chavez said. “It has been two years now without spreading the word that UNT even has a rugby team.”

The conference for the rugby team is requiring vaccinations or testing in order to be able to compete with other schools. Besides this, Chavez says that they are trying to find ways to go back to how they used to do things before the pandemic.

“Our conference requires us to get tested or show proof of vaccination before tournaments but within the daily requirements of rugby COVID has only really impacted our requirement,” Chavez said. “For the most part, we have tried to return to some form of normalcy regarding COVID.”

North Texas’ recreational swim team is a team that was least affected by the results of COVID-19 and the number of participants did not decline after the students got back to school this semester.

“[We were] able to get the word out during COVID and popularity for [the] club has increased,” senior Haley Kutch said.

Since coming back this semester, the team has struggled to find the form that they had prior to the pandemic. Therefore, that is what they have been focusing on this year.

“[We are] trying to get everybody into shape in general because a lot of people have not swam in months so getting back in shape has been a big goal for our club,” Kutch said.

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Like the other clubs at UNT, the swim club is taking the necessary precautions to put the health of the members first and maintaining social distancing when not swimming.

“We ask our members to wear a mask and social distance when on the deck and not swimming,” Kutch said. “The water in the pool contains chlorine, and chlorine has been proven to kill the virus.”

Featured Image: Swim team member Brooke Beddingfield swims laps during UNT practice on Oct. 4, 2021. Photo by John Anderson

Article Originally Published by Kevin Walker on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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